33rd Annual



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The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival is the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music. The annual national competition draws from hundreds of vocal groups from around the country with regional competitions in eight cities. The winning group from each festival is flown to perform in front of celebrity judges and a sold out house of enthusiastic a cappella fans at the National Finals.

2017 New York Champions

CONNECT

CONNECT is an award-winning professional a cappella group located in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut. They are a mixed group of singers who wanted to continue sharing their love of music after attending school together at Central Connecticut State University. They combine lush harmonies, pure emotion, and clean riffs with a distinctly modern edge to bring you the sound of CONNECT.

2017 Results
1st
CONNECT
2nd
The Quintessence
3rd
Mighty Echoes of Charleston
Audience Favorite
The Quintessence
Best Original Arrangement
“Until I Met You" - Buka Kartozia - The Quintessence
Best Original Song
“The Fall” - Melina Marini & Caitlin Nelson - Concrete
Best Vocal Percussionist
Rizumik - Concrete
Best Soloist
Kaylah Smith - CONNECT


2017 Participating Groups

Concrete
Based in New York City and grounded in harmony, Concrete is a co-ed a cappella group that was founded in 2015 by three friends. Performing anything from pop hits and classic rock to holiday carols, Concrete aims to bring three-part harmony and a fresh unique sound to everything they sing.

Members: Melina Marini, Caitling Nelson, Catherine Macaluso, Tiago "Rizumik" Grade, Jason Unger, Lior Melnick
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Vocal Heights
Vocal Heights is an eight member, co-ed, New York a cappella group with an eclectic style, performing a wide range of music from the 60's, all the way to the 2000's. With a repertoire that is predominantly rock and pop, We also like to mix it up with some doo-wop, jazzy standards, blue grass, non-secular selections, and even the occasional madrigal thrown in for good measure! While predominantly using original arrangements of covers we are psyched to now have several original songs in our repertoire as well. Our mission is simple: to put on a great show with great music!

Members: Lauren Rich, Erik Levitt, Abena Roman, Steve Croy, Ben Conlon, Dena Ayzikovich
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CONNECT
CONNECT is an award-winning professional a cappella group located in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut. They are a mixed group of singers who wanted to continue sharing their love of music after attending school together at Central Connecticut State University. They combine lush harmonies, pure emotion, and clean riffs with a distinctly modern edge to bring you the sound of CONNECT.

Members: Michael Brown, Kimberly Duncan, Brian Jacobs, Marcella Jalbert, Kaylah Smith, Lucian Varela, Matt Weisher, Giselle Ziegler, Kevin Walsh
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United People
We carry out compositions a-cappella in different jazz styles among that authorial jazz and folk-jazz. Our group exits 5 years and for this time we repeatedly became the laureates of jazz competitions and took part in different jazz festivals. In 2014 United People participated the best vocal show, X-Factor Ukraine, and became the favorite of the public, singing through the several broadcasts.

Members: Oleksandra Polovynska, Maria Tytova, Anastasiia Khyzhniak, Mariia Savenko, Daria Blyzniuk, Oleksii Proshchenkov
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The Columbia Clefhangers
The Columbia Clefhangers (aka the "Clefs") are students at Columbia University who form a contemporary co-ed a cappella group in New York City. Since 1988, the Clefs have been singing their hearts out from Rockefeller Center to Paris, entertaining audiences with their original arrangements of pop, R&B, and soulful music of every genre..

Members: Jeremy Pachter, Jungsoo Lee, Varshini Parthasarathy, Erin Cao, Deepti Varathan, Larri Li, Ben Eisenstadt, Srinidhi Bharadwaj
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Mighty Echoes of Charleston
A group of men that loves singing for the enjoyment of others.

Members: Robert Anderson, Michel Burnson, Bruce Fayall, Willam Wallace, Rudy Johnson, Harrison Holmes, Veron Johnson
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Saffron
Saffron formed in January 2015 and burst onto the Region 1 Sweet Adelines scene a few months later. Then in May 2016, they won the third place medal. All four members sing with award-winning Harmony On The Sound Chorus and have had the privilege of competing on the International stage. Baritone Penny has competed four times at International in quartet competitions. Saffron members include bass Susan Berry, baritone Penny Schroeder, lead Amanda Fowski and tenor Christine Bulgini. They love great harmony and delight in singing minor and dissonant chords. Other passions worth noting are their love of snow, stellar red wines, IPA’s, and a good vanilla porter.

Members: Christine Bulgini, Amanda Fowski, Penny Schroeder, Sue Berry
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The Quintessence
The Quintessence was founded in autumn of 2012, in the Republic of Georgia. The idea of creating such an amazing ensemble of young singers who perform outrageously complicated arrangements with surprising ease belongs to Buka Kartozia (artistic director and arranger, and a National Finalist of "Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival 2002".<

The repertoire of the group mainly consists of ancient Georgian folklore and classical music with jazz. Each and every piece stands out with rhythmical difficulty and harmonic complexity. The level of stage presence and performance of the group reaches the highest levels of professionalism and leaves audiences astonished.



Members: Lasha Murvanidze, Giorgi Toradze, Saba Chachanidze, Salome Dolidze, Elene Dolidze, Natia Svanadze
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Your Emcee for the Evening

Diana Preisler

Diana Preisler’s career in a cappella began as the female lead singer, and band manager of Broadway Records recording artist, Blue Jupiter. She is a featured soloists on Blue Jupiter's newest album, Twisted Broadway Vol. 1. Blue Jupiter has performed at performing arts centers, colleges, festivals, and corporate events around the world. Blue Jupiter won the Oreo “Milk’s Favorite Jingle” contest, hosted by famed American Idol Judge Randy Jackson, and has performed with iconic performers like The Roots, Livingston Taylor, and The Persuasions. Companies like: Disney, ABC Family, the Food Network, Honda, NOKIA, Nickelodeon, and Hermes have featured Blue Jupiter at their corporate events. You may have seen Blue Jupiter on Oprah, the Huff Post, headlining at theatres around the globe, cruise ships and casinos, including over 200 shows at the Sands Casino in Macau, China.

Diana’s work as an a cappella performance coach and mentor caught the attention of Lifetime TV in 2014. Soon after, Diana helped create and star in the Lifetime original a cappella series, "Pitch Slapped.” This competition docu-series featured Diana working with high school students through 10 weeks of competition. “Pitch Slapped" continues to air on Lifetime in countries across the world.

Before Diana began her career as an a cappella singer, she graced the theatrical stage on multiple national Broadway tours such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “A Christams Carol.” Regional roles across the US include Eva Peron in "Evita", Ado Annie in "Oklahoma", Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, Linda in “Blood Brothers” and Shelley in "Bat Boy, The Musical.” As a Nationally televised voice-over artist, you’ve heard Diana as the voice of MTV, Nickelodeon, Behr Paint, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Herbal Essences, Priceline, Planter’s (with Robert Downy Jr), Fisher Price, HGTV, VH1, or Bank of America (to name just a few.)

Complete list of 2017 participants




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Interested in Performing?

We are always seeking groups who would like to participate in our events.

Groups of any style are welcome, but you must have between 3 and 12 members. We have a rule book which explains many of the details of the event, which you can see by clicking here. All groups must audition in order to compete. Generally this is done by sending a current tape and photo, although live auditions are sometimes arranged. The purpose of the audition is to make sure the group is appropriate for the Festival and to help the Director determine the performance order. If a group has competed previously, the audition process may be waived.

How to enter

Please send music and photos to the regional director :

Colette Thompson (New York) Colette Thompson has directed or performed in over eleven vocal ensembles, with her group, Stay Tuned, placing 3rd in the 1998 New York Regional of the Harmony Sweepstakes; Colette has performed/recorded with Lukas Foss, Leonard Bernstein, Jesse Norman, Peter, Paul & Mary, and James Levine A billboard-ranked singer/songwriter, she has also managed several events, including, Christmas at NYU, Complex at the Duplex, and An Evening with The Real Group at NYC's Symphony Space. With performances televised via major news programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and NY1, she is a promoter, producer, adjudicator and an ambassador of vocal music worldwide.

128 Fort Greene Place, Suite 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11217
917-442-2011
colette.thompson (at) mac.com


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